Poor flare for student pilot

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Richland, Wash. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was practicing touch-and-goes. [Read more...]

Spatial disorientation leads to fatal accident

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Quincy, Fla. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The 230-hour pilot, who did not have an instrument rating, landed after sunset, refueled the airplane, and took off again about 90 minutes later [Read more...]

Carburetor icing leads to off-airport landing

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Springfield, Tenn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was on the second leg of a VFR cross-country flight. He was flying at an altitude of 3,500 feet in order to remain below an overcast ceiling.

[Read more...]

Distraction results in gear-up landing

Aircraft: Mooney M20K. Injuries: None. Location: Willmar, Minn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was practicing solo takeoffs and landings. On the third approach he extended his downwind leg to provide spacing for another airplane.

[Read more...]

Intoxicated pilot crashes

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Denmark, Wis. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: During a flight before the accident flight, the cockpit lighting failed and the pilot made an unscheduled landing at an airport. Later, a witness saw the pilot walking back to the airport with a 12-pack of beer.

[Read more...]

Pilot takes off with malfunctioning engine

Aircraft: Bowers Fly Baby 1-A. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Jefferson, Ga. Aircraft damage: Destroyed,

What reportedly happened: A witness told investigators that the pilot was attempting to diagnose an engine problem prior to the accident flight. The witness said that the engine was running rough and backfiring during takeoff.

When the airplane was about 200 feet AGL, it stalled, spun to the right, hit the ground and caught fire.

The post-accident examination revealed that the right magneto distributor gear was unsecured inside the housing. There were marks consistent with damage found after the gear became loose while the engine was under power.

Since limited maintenance records were available, it could not be determined how many flight hours had accumulated since the last engine overhaul.

Investigators determined that it was probable that the cotter pin was not installed in either magneto rotor drive shaft and that the right magneto’s castellated nut came loose during engine operation and that the unsecured distributor gear reduced engine performance, resulting in a partial loss of engine power.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control, resulting in an aerodynamic stall and spin. Also causal was the partial loss of engine power during the initial climb due to the improper installation of a magneto.

Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to take off with an engine problem and the mechanic’s failure to detect the missing magneto rotor cotter pins during the last engine overhaul.

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA141

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

VFR into IMC kills two

Aircraft: Cessna Cardinal. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: North Vernon, Ind. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: Before departing on the accident flight, the 458-hour pilot, who did not have an instrument rating, obtained several weather briefings, learning that instrument meteorological conditions prevailed along his route of flight.

The pilot took off. When the airplane was at an altitude of 7,800 feet MSL, he requested VFR flight following.

A short time later the pilot acknowledged instructions to contact air route traffic control center. No further communications were received from the pilot.

Radar data showed the airplane in a gradual descent from 7,800 to 2,800 feet MSL, before radar contact was lost.

The post-accident review of weather and radar data indicated that the airplane descended into instrument meteorological conditions near the destination airport.

The wreckage distribution was consistent with a high-speed impact. Investigators determined that, given the adverse weather conditions present at the time of the accident, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and lost control of the airplane.

Probable cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot’s decision to fly into known instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in spatial disorientation and loss of airplane control.

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA143

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Wind gust bends Maule

Aircraft: Maule M-5-180C. Injuries: None. Location: River Ranch, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, who was on approach to the airport in VFR conditions, stated that he didn’t see any other airplanes or hear any radio communications to indicate the appropriate runway, and there were no visual indications of wind direction.

He chose to land on runway 16. When the airplane touched down, an unexpected wind gust pushed it right of the runway center line.

Before he could regain control the left wing tip and the left horizontal stabilizer tip hit the ground, sustaining substantial damage.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control after encountering a wind gust during landing.

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA134

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Brake failure for Piper

Aircraft: Piper Super Cub. Injuries: None. Location: Del Norte, Colo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The private pilot, who had recently acquired the Super Cub, was receiving instruction from a CFI to get more familiar with the tailwheel airplane.

[Read more...]

Christen Eagle hits deer

Aircraft: Christen Eagle II. Injuries: None. Location: Eureka, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: As the pilot was attempting to land at the rural airport, a herd of deer wandered onto the runway. [Read more...]